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Tokamaks

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A nuclear fusion reactor in which a magnetic field keeps charged, hot plasma moving in a doughnut-shaped vacuum container.

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Bank on it: Gains in one type of force produced by fusion disruptions are offset by losses in another

Doughnut-shaped tokamaks — facilities designed to reproduce the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars on Earth — must withstand forces that can be stronger than hurricanes created by disruptions in the plasma that fuels fusion reactions. Recent findings by physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) show that certain forces released by disruptions act in a surprising manner.

Bank on it: Gains in one type of force produced by fusion disruptions are offset by losses in another

Doughnut-shaped tokamaks — facilities designed to reproduce the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars on Earth — must withstand forces that can be stronger than hurricanes created by disruptions in the plasma that fuels fusion reactions. Recent findings by physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) show that certain forces released by disruptions act in a surprising manner.

Blowing bubbles: PPPL scientist confirms novel way to launch and drive current in fusion plasmas

An obstacle to generating fusion reactions inside facilities called tokamaks is that producing the current in plasma that helps create confining magnetic fields happens in pulses. Such pulses, generated by an electromagnet that runs down the center of the tokamak, would make the steady-state creation of fusion energy difficult to achieve. To address the problem, physicists have developed a technique known as transient coaxial helicity injection (CHI) to create a current that is not pulsed.

Blowing bubbles: PPPL scientist confirms novel way to launch and drive current in fusion plasmas

An obstacle to generating fusion reactions inside facilities called tokamaks is that producing the current in plasma that helps create confining magnetic fields happens in pulses. Such pulses, generated by an electromagnet that runs down the center of the tokamak, would make the steady-state creation of fusion energy difficult to achieve. To address the problem, physicists have developed a technique known as transient coaxial helicity injection (CHI) to create a current that is not pulsed.

PPPL findings: From new fusion developments to surprises in astrophysics at global plasma physics gathering

More than 155 researchers and students — the largest delegation from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in recent years — attended the 61st annual meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics (APS-DPP) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

PPPL findings: From new fusion developments to surprises in astrophysics at global plasma physics gathering

More than 155 researchers and students — the largest delegation from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in recent years — attended the 61st annual meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics (APS-DPP) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

International honors for post-doctoral fellows helping to bring a star to earth

Discoveries about the behavior of plasma that fuels fusion reactions and composes the sun and stars have won prestigious awards for two post-doctoral fellows at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The honors, the 2019 Christiaan Huygens Science Award for physicist Chris Smiet and the 2019 Under 30 Scientist and Student Award for physicist Rupak Mukherjee, recognize exceptional contributions by the two scientists at the start of their careers.

International honors for post-doctoral fellows helping to bring a star to earth

Discoveries about the behavior of plasma that fuels fusion reactions and composes the sun and stars have won prestigious awards for two post-doctoral fellows at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The honors, the 2019 Christiaan Huygens Science Award for physicist Chris Smiet and the 2019 Under 30 Scientist and Student Award for physicist Rupak Mukherjee, recognize exceptional contributions by the two scientists at the start of their careers.

Shake, rattle, roll: Turbulence found to disrupt the crucial magnetic fields in fusion energy devices

The swirls created by milk poured into coffee or the shudders that can jolt airplanes in flight are examples of turbulence, the chaotic movement of matter found throughout nature. Turbulence also occurs within tokamaks, doughnut-shaped facilities that house the plasma that fuels fusion reactions. Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have discovered that turbulence may play an increased role in affecting the self-driven, or bootstrap, current in plasma that is necessary for tokamak fusion reactions.

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